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Twins name Francisco Liriano the Game 1 starter for ALDS

Sep 22, 2010, 1:18 PM EDT

Here in Minnesota there’s been quite a bit of debate about who the Twins should place atop their playoff rotation for a Game 1 and possibly Game 5 start in the ALDS.
Francisco Liriano is pretty clearly the Twins’ best starting pitcher, going 14-8 with a 3.44 ERA and posting arguably the best secondary numbers in the entire league this season. Carl Pavano also has been very good, going 17-11 with a 3.60 ERA, and while his secondary numbers aren’t nearly as great some people feel his “experience” makes him the better Game 1 choice.
Apparently the Twins trust stuff over experience, because they just named Liriano the Game 1 starter.
And it’s the right call. For all the talk of Pavano being more dependable or less likely to implode, they both have allowed three runs or fewer in 22 starts this season. And in terms of dominant outings, Liriano has allowed zero or one run in 11 starts compared to six from Pavano.
Beyond that, if the playoffs began today the Twins would be matched up with the Rays and their excellent team speed could have really exploited Pavano twice in a five-game series. Tampa Bay leads the league with 162 steals, Pavano has surrendered the second-most steals in the league, and in 42 starts since joining the Twins last season he’s allowed 46 steals at an 88 percent success rate.

  1. doctorfunke - Sep 22, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Plus, I think that they wanted to split up the lefties with Duensing probably getting game 3.

  2. minnesconsin_ad - Sep 22, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    absolutely the right call. i can’t wait to get this thing going!

  3. Trevor B - Sep 22, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    I was saying all season long from spring training they needed to make Duensing the 5th starter.

  4. doctorfunke - Sep 22, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    I think we’re better off that he wasn’t. We’re getting him in midseason form for the playoffs.

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